Tashard Choice could get more work

Updated: November 5, 2010, 4:33 PM ET
By Eric Karabell

I ranked Tashard Choice 39th at running back in Wednesday's Week 9 rankings, and even though I was the only one of the four rankers who felt the third option for the woebegone Dallas Cowboys deserved such an honor, I felt good about it. Frankly, as we hit Friday with Felix Jones a health (and production) question mark and Marion Barber having the look of a much older player, I feel even better about ranking him.

The past two summers, fantasy owners/Cowboys fans have talked about Jones as if he was the next Tony Dorsett, and I admit to expecting big things from the Arkansas running back this season. However, it's just not happening. Jones broke off a 34-yard run in the Week 5 loss to the Tennessee Titans en route to 109 rushing yards and 11 fantasy points, but since then he's carried the ball 31 times for 89 yards. Do the math, that's not promising. Jones hasn't scored this season, hasn't looked like the breakaway speed demon he was supposed to be, and with injuries either affecting his play or keeping him from the field for a third consecutive season -- now it's his left ankle and left forearm -- he's starting to get that brittle tag.

Choice might end up being the team's, um, choice this week, and while we can debate whether that matters or not, because Jon Kitna is the quarterback and the defense has been so brutal that it generally renders the team's running game irrelevant by halftime, I'm sticking with my Choice rank. I might even move him up some depending on Jones' status. Choice did average 5.5 yards per carry on 64 attempts last season, then mysteriously lost all opportunity after mid-October. For his career Choice has averaged 5.1 yards per carry, while also catching passes. I think he'd be a starter in a number of places around the league. Regardless, don't assume Jones is such a safe play, and keep an eye on his progress before game time Sunday.